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Yesterday, the Trump administration finally returned some of the first group of children ordered to be reunited with their parents -- not quite the 54 they'd promised Monday (which was still only half of what a federal judge had ordered), but they sure hoped to reunite 38 kids with their parents by the end of Tuesday, and more maybe today, if they get around to it. All in all, the government was pretty proud of the half-assed job it was doing in sort-of complying with a federal judge's order to reunite all kids under the age of five by Tuesday. Which it hadn't actually done, but respect for the law is really pretty flexible -- unless you're talking about border crossers, who are just the worst.


Trump Blows Off Deadline Like A Common Frat Boy

U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw wasn't all that impressed with 38 reunifications out of the 102 children under five years of age the government said it had taken:
Sabraw said he believed as many as 63 children could be released Tuesday, or soon afterward, if the government streamlined the process and worked harder to locate parents who were no longer detained.

"There's still much time left today," he said from the bench during a late-morning hearing in San Diego. "These are firm deadlines. They're not aspirational goals."

Just before he headed off to destroy NATO, reporters asked Donald Trump to comment on why the government hadn't complied with a judge's orders. He explained, with characteristic empathy and compassion, that it's all about the rule of law, just not for him:

Tell people not to come to our country illegally," Trump told reporters. "That's the solution. Don't come to our country illegally. Come like other people do. Come legally."

It's well-documented that Customs and Border Protection separated plenty of children from asylum seekers who came to a port of entry, which is as legal as you can get. Trump also ignored a reporter's follow-up question about whether he thought it's appropriate to punish children, because he was on a roll:

"I'm saying this: We have laws," he said. "We have borders. Don't come to our country illegally. It's not a good thing."

It's unclear whether Judge Sabraw will order Trump's children taken away from him for breaking the law, although we suspect Don Jr. might find the prospect of living inside a former Walmart "neat."

Sure You Can Have Your Kid Back. Just Pay For This DNA Test

The Daily Beast reports immigrant women were told by government officials they could only be reunited with their children if they paid the costs of their own DNA tests. The tests are being required of virtually all parents before they can get their kids back, with the official explanation that they deter child trafficking. The shakedown for DNA test costs was described by immigration attorney Iliana Holguin, who works with Annunciation House, a shelter in El Paso, Texas. She said the government demanded $700 to $800 to prove they were actually related to their children (and in one case, a younger brother):

"The government wants the parents to foot the bill for the DNA testing when they're the ones that caused the need for DNA testing," Holguin said. "It's incredible."

HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) said it did the tests at no charge, and "[other] immigration attorneys reached by The Daily Beast said their clients had not been asked to pay for DNA tests." Even if Holguin's clients were a one-time thing, the article identifies a key problem with DNA tests: They bog down the reunification process, and are being demanded even of folks who brought documentation like birth certificates or passports. You see, those documents are routinely taken by Customs and Border Protection and put in files that ORR has no access to. Heavens, why would different agencies coordinate information to reunite families when the process can be needlessly complicated? Gotta deter people from coming north by any means necessary.

America: The Kindest Warmest Most Wonderful Child Abductor Ever

We'll close with this perfectly normal CNN interview with HHS Secretary Alex Azar, in which Azar explains that members of Congress and the media have gotten plenty of information about the insides of ORR's child jails, and all in all, those kids America took from their parents are being treated just the best that any kids stolen from their parents ever were:

Azar explained that his agency has been plenty transparent, and he can't have a lot of Congress members and reporters traipsing around the baby jails because that would get in the way of all the family reunification the government is barely working on. All in all, those kids have it pretty good!

It is one of the great great acts of American generosity and charity what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids who are smuggled into our country or come across illegally.

Gosh, when you consider Azar's perspective, that these children don't belong in America at all, you have to agree that giving them the minimal needs of life, while inflicting untold psychological harm on the the kids and their families, is simply humanitarian as fuck. Yay us!

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[WaPo / WaPo / Daily Beast / CNN]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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